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Response to friendly_iconoclast (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 08:06 PM

16. The US mental healthcare system in particular

 

This one has credibility-- and this can be traced right back to the conservative god: ronald reagan.

Almost ten years after Ronald Reagan left office as president, the legacy of his administration continues to be studied. What is almost indisputable is that the changes in public policy that were implemented during the 1980s were sweeping and marked a turning point in American domestic policy. Faced with increasing competition from overseas, American business found it necessary to alter the social contract. This would require a realignment of the political economy so as to weaken labor unions and the social safety net. In Reagan, the Right found a spokesman capable of aligning conservatives, centrists, and working class whites. With this coalition, Reagan was able to bring about a number of reactionary changes in public policy (Alford, 1988).

This paper provides an illustration of this co-optation by examining the policies regarding involuntary commitment of the mentally ill. The shifts in such policies were not the result of overt attempts at change, but rather part of an overall effort to realign the political economy to be more profitable for business. The overall result was that political discourse shifted from a focus on social policy to a focus on fiscal policy. As such, social programs that necessitated financial outlays on the part of the federal government were overlooked in favour of policies that seemed less costly.

Still, the administration did not, and perhaps could not, act in isolation and without public support. But they didn't have to. By the middle of the 1970s, there was a consensus among interested groups that reform of the Mental Health Care System was necessary. Lobbying on the part of special interest groups and a commitment on the part of President Jimmy Carter led to passage of the Mental Health Systems Act.


Along with this utter stupidity is the lack of interest of the deadbeats in congress on infrastructure spending-- to the point we now have major bridges collapsing and killing people-- the I-35 bridge in Minneaspolis.

So here we are-- over 300 MILLION people in our nation, and no real, significant mental health care program. We "can't afford it"... what a load of crap.


http://sociology.org/content/vol003.004/thomas_d.html

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friendly_iconoclast Dec 2012 OP
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